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What would you take?

I finally got my hands on Maggie Mason’s book, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch.  As I perused through the pages I found several ideas that looked interesting that I may explore in the future.  But, for a quickie entry I wanted to focus on the following:

"At 3 a.m. the fire alarm wakes you.  You realize that the house is aflame, and that you’re sleeping naked.  After grabbing a robe, and making sure that people and pets are out of the building, what would you search for next?"

First of all, I would never be sleeping naked.  I always sleep in pants and either a tank top or t-shirt (I know, how boring!).  Given that, I may or may not grab a robe and throw on the flip flops that are almost always next to my bed anyway.

After getting Zach, the Hubby, and the animals out, my next grabs would be my back up hard drive and my laptop.  My back up drive has a full back up of my desktop computer, including all of my digital photos and copies of most of my cd’s.  Hopefully, when this fire happens, I have finished scanning in all of my pre-digital photos so I won’t have to worry about getting those.

Beyond that, I think I would want to grab a comfort item or two for Zach.  I would want him to have his favorite blankie (although I would probably grab this up when I grabbed him) and his Big Bird that Daddy brought him from Pittsburgh.

Next in line would be the guitars, both Hubby’s and mine.  We also have some of his brother’s guitars that his mom and dad brought up last time they visited.  We would definitely want to have those as they really cannot be replaced.

Then, if I had time, I would grab my grandmother’s paintings off of the walls and our family portraits.  Those are things that really can’t be replaced either.

Of course, in my irrational thinking, I would probably want to grab a few other things too (like my perfectly broken in jeans and my old navy sweatshirt), but these are the ones that come to mind.

So, what would you grab? 

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Published inLiving the Life


  1. Having been through a fire, when I was a little kid, my brain works a little differently than others’ about this.

    Grab all cash. (it burns)
    Grab a pack of smokes. (you’ll want them more than just about anything else)
    Grab wallet. (you’ll have to prove that you actually lived there in the first place.)

    In a panic state, you don’t think of much else past (maybe) your number one material “touch stone”, if you have one, and the people you live with. In a post-traumatic state, you just go on auto-pilot. You grab whatever you would have if it were just a walk to the store. If any of the trauma was from a previous fire, you have your bases pretty well covered just about every night. …just in case.

    Trust me on this one.

  2. Wow, great question. And it requires a lot of thought. Better to do it now than wait until, god forbid, you are “in the moment.”

    I think probably my laptop and the hard drive for our computer. My mom keeps all of the negatives of our pre-digital photos at her house, so I wouldn’t worry about grabbing any of those, except maybe the ones in the scrapbooks I spent so many hours on.

    I wouldn’t be caught naked either…for that EXACT reason! Seriously it is like a phobia I have. What if I have to run out of the house without even a moment to grab a rob? Not, me sister, I’ll be standing on the street with jammy bottoms and tshirt!

  3. This hit a little closer to home for me and it’s been something that i have been thinking about alot.

    My cats (first and foremost)
    My pictures (the 35mm ones, especially from the wedding)
    My purse/wallet
    My jewelery.

    What is scarey is having 3 seconds to think about it and not all the time in the world.

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